Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fess Parker Saturday

Davy Crockett in Tomorrowland?!? Fess Parker is shown here riding the Astrojets with Kathleen Crowley in this publicity still from the December 1956 film “Westward Ho the Wagons.” The fact that it’s a publicity still for a movie set back in the days of the 19th century makes this Tomorrowland shot a weird choice. The caption for this wire photo:

656-52 DATE AT DISNEYLAND…Fess Parker and Kathleen Crowley, co-stars of Walt Disney's CinemaScope-Technicolor western, "Westward Ho the Wagons!", enjoy a day at Disneyland. Here they ride an Astrojet rocket in Tomorrowland. Buena Vista distributes.

And for publicity photo #2, taken in Frontierland, do you think the gals really wore pumps back in the Old West? Juxtaposition or not, I still like these promo photos as they both have a feeling of innocence and charm, just like the park which was barely a year old at the time these were shot.

The original publicity caption:

656-37 DATE AT DISNEYLAND…Fess Parker and Kathleen Crowley, co-stars of Walt Disney's CinemaScope-Technicolor western, "Westward Ho the Wagons!", enjoy a day at Disneyland. Here they view the Rivers of America from a point on Tom Sawyer Island. Buena Vista distributes.

For more vintage & current Disneyland photos, visit my regular website.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dec. 27, 1970: The Lost Polaroids

On March 16, I posted photos from my first Disneyland trip (12/27/70), aka Holy Grail Friday. Last week my brother let me borrow the Polaroids that he shot, dismissing them as not that great. I thought they were purty darn good, especially considering the fact that they were Polaroids and over 30 years old. A few were too dark to post, but most of them turned out great. The first one is me at the entrance with Donald Duck, holding my INA sponsored brochure. Pic 2 is with my cousins outside Small World.

Pic 3 is probably my favorite; a nice shot of the Mine Train pulling into Rainbow Ridge. Way to go brother Jim!

Of course, no day would be complete without a castle shot. Dig the mod 70's poncho on the little girl at left!

Today’s final photo shows Tom Sawyer Island taken from the Mark Twain, w/a crowd of people outside the Haunted Mansion, which is a little over a year old at this point.

On another note, this morning I read that the Disney Blog was celebrating 3 years; this got me thinking about my own blog. So, I checked the date of my first post, and I missed my 1 year anniversary: June 4, 2006. At the time I wrote my first post, I considered myself a big Disneyland fan; since that day, my knowledge and my appreciation of the park has increased many times over. I’d like to thank the many people who have left comments (most of them positive and extremely informative) and of course the Major & Matterhorn for their FANTASTIC blogs. It has been a year of great fun and learning. Here’s to another year of vintage Disneyland photos!

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland photos at my main website.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Marilyn: Something’s Got To Give

My favorite Marilyn is from “Something’s Got To Give,” the unfinished film that is probably more famous now than if it had been released. What remains looks like it would have been an extremely light-hearted comedy that probably would have only been redeemed by Marilyn’s performance and her chemistry with on-screen spouse Dean Martin. In the wardrobe tests and rushes, she positively glows. It is hard to believe that her life would end tragically so soon after these shots were developed. Here is a painting I did from one of the wardrobe tests. To see more of my paintings, visit my regular website.

Oct. 2, 1956 Pt. 4: Autopia etc.

Just like the futuristic freeways that it was supposed to represent, the Autopia has grown up over the years, too. Here in its early stages, it looks positively quaint, compared to its present day incarnation. From the same Skyway photo voyage, we have yet another shot of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. Both of these shots are classic because there are relatively few guests; either this photographer had special access or it was very low attendance day at the park!

Might as well stop at Storybook Land for a few cool views while we’re in the area; here’s a nice establishing shot, other than the flagpole in the middle! The last two shots show Cinderella’s castle, and I’ve included a detail of the small sign on the lower left, which reads: “Dream Castle, Cinderella’s Chateau, French Village.”

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland photos at my main website.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tippi Hedren is calling you

The publicity still that inspired this painting is so classic; you can tell that Tippi began as a model. She is so perfectly poised; from the way she holds the phone cord to the way she holds her cigarette.

To see more of my paintings, visit my main website.

Oct. 2, 1956 Pt. 3: Main Street

Beginning with the obligatory Main Street Train Station shot (dig the cars!), we move quickly to Town Square, where we see a sanitation worker, known as a white wing. If anyone knows if this is Trinidad Ruiz, who was featured on a Disneyland postcard, let me know. International Street is still a possibility at this point. The other photos show the Trolley pulling up towards Central Plaza and two other vehicles heading down Main Street towards Town Square at the same time.

For more vintage & current Main Street photos, visit my regular website.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oct. 2, 1956: 20K Walk Through

In a creative attempt to stretch the Tomorrowland budget, Walt had a walk through exhibit created that showed off the sets of the classic “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” This Genuine Faux-D© shot of Nemo’s pipe organ is from October 1956; it was eventually adapted and recycled into the Haunted Mansion ballroom, as you can see in this Panavue shot. Sustainability at its best!

For more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos, visit my regular website.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oct. 2, 1956: Pt. 1, Tomorrowland

Here we are in Tomorrowland, looking at the Circarama Building and the flags of the states. Next up is the Moonliner, sponsored by TWA (not time for Douglas yet!), with the Autopia, Skyway, and Space Bar in the background.

Here is a pretty darn rare interior shot of the Rocket to the Moon; not quite a full flight.

For more vintage & current Tomorrowland photos, visit my main website.

Marilyn: The Bert Stern photos

Bert Stern took some amazing photos of Marilyn during his last sitting with her. These two paintings, inspired by those sessions, were done about 10 years apart. The first painting came out okay, but looking at it now it seems a little rough; I am much happier with my more recent incarnation. It’s a little more subtle; kind of like comparing Hustler to Playboy; or something like that.

To see more of my paintings, visit my regular my main website.

March 1956 Series: The Big Finish

Quite a few slides to post for the rowsing March 1956 finish! Crossing through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, you’ll notice a poster on the left that shows a map of only Fantasyland (yes, detail shot does follow!). Again, doncha’ love the outfits? People actually getting dressed up for a day at Disneyland? Purty cool!

Once through the Castle, we get a few views of the Carrousel (get those dimes out!), Teacups (where is everybody?), and the often photographed Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. This Chicken of the Sea pics is one of my favorites; love the lady on the left covering her face and the lady pointing on the right (“Hey Madge—look, that man has a camera!”)

If Pirates ships aren’t your bag, you can always wander over to Frontierland for a ride on the Mark Twain. At the dock, you can also view the Golden Horseshoe saloon.

It’s interesting to compare the same view with today. My, how you’ve grown!

For a little more rustic boat trip, you can saunter back to Adventureland and take a ride on the Jungle Cruise.

And that’s it for a few days, folks. Hope you enjoyed your trip to March 1956. I’ve got some more good stuff coming up next week. FOR MATTERHORN: Here’s the requested detail shot of the flag:

For more Disneyland photos, visit my regular website.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Disneyland Update

No retro today; just a looooong post about Disneyland of today, and of course, the Finding Nemo attraction. I was prepared for the worst, as outsiders AND insiders had warned of 4-8 hour waits and an overcrowded park. The reality: I waited one hour at about 5pm in the afternoon. Yes, the line winds around the attraction all the way back to the former smoking area by the Matterhorn, but the queue moves at a good pace. Three subs go out at a time, and cast members keep things moving. Umbrellas have been installed along the queue to keep guests in the shade, and a few beverage carts are also along the way to keep ’em hydrated. Either I was extremely fortunate, or there’s a little bit of marketing paranoia being spread. While waiting in line, Ed Grier got onto the attraction with a small group; I was not fast enough to get a decent shot of him, but for the online jokers who are just so freakin' hilarious about Ed being MIA, here’s one of the back of his head. Really guys, give the joke a rest—the passive aggressive approach wasn’t even funny the first time.

Back to Nemo, here are some shots from my maiden voyage.

My overall opinion of the ride? It was nice. I enjoyed it, but I do not think I would wait an hour for it again. There were some cute nods to the old ride, but in comparison to the original submarine voyage, it just did not measure up for me. The old ride, even though it was slightly hokey, had a magical fun quality and was an entertaining journey. The Nemo voyage had some cool special effects, but I would guess that more time was spent trying to get the video effects to work than time was spent actually testing whether they were entertaining. Still, I am glad the ride is working again, and it is definitely “tweakable.” And, others must be enjoying it, as guests who left the sub before me stated, “It’s worth the wait!” Even Monorail Red has gone Nemo:

On the plus side, the park is looking fantastic; practically every attraction was open, and the Mark Twain looks great:

The moose/elk in the Rivers of America has also been repaired:

Sadly, Fort Wilderness is now gone, and the Burning Cabin has been cleaned up with no trace of the burning fires or dead settler with an arrow through the back. Heck, the area looks so civililzed it might even be ready for a condo conversion soon!

The Disneyland Railroad was working again; thank goodness! The park just does not seem the same without the train running. I made sure to take the Grand Circle Tour in the Lilly Belle, which was hitched to the back of #5, the Ward Kimball.

Disney/Pixar marketing was hard at work; Ratatouille is already showing up in New Orleans Square:

At the Disney Gallery, you should definitely check out the art there; current renderings of favorite Disney attractions and past art used in Disney storybooks. Very cool exhibit. A favorite of mine is by Disney fan and artist extraordinaire, Kevin Kidney:

And for those of you who care, yes, Monstro is now blue. Not dark blue, but light blue:

Again, it really was a great day at the park; probably one of the best I’d had there in months. For more vintage & current Disneyland photos, visit my regular website.